Trevor (Program Manager, CPMG)
Corporate Programs Management Group (CPMG) is a program for high-performing, emerging leaders whose goal is to be accountable for excellent outputs, outcomes and results in our work while developing critical leadership skills with a broad understanding of the organization. We work collaboratively to support and advance corporate initiatives while acting as ambassadors of the Organizational Development program, providing positive impacts and strengthening our corporate culture that drives the City’s performance. Our team is presented with a unique work and learning environment where roles may vary from day to day and staff are requested to assist and re-align with other business units, depending on corporate priorities and need.
As much as we are expected to produce excellent work, our role is also to learn. CPMG participates in a Leadership and Development curriculum through which we are provided with an unparalleled platform to build a network, connect, interact and learn from staff from across the organization. We also benefit from interaction and mentorship from the highest level of leadership in our organization, the Senior Management Team (SMT).
What does a normal day in your role look, sound, and feel like?
Initially when I joined CPMG, I was told to get comfortable with ambiguity. I was not sure exactly what that meant, yet as I settled into my role, I quickly understood. Every day the structure and flow changes as projects and initiatives progress toward deadlines and new priorities are presented. Our environment is fast-paced, and direction may shift at a moment’s notice. We have to react as situations emerge (such as COVID-19), which require our immediate and full attention.
A typical day starts at 8:15 am and ends at 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. In reality, days may start earlier and may also end later depending on projects; I am excited to continue the progress of a project first thing in the morning or when I find myself immersed at the end of a day.
I report to the Manager, Corporate Strategic Initiatives and our portfolio includes (but is not limited to) initiatives such as: Council Strategic Plan, Corporate Projects and Programs (including the Organizational Development or 'Org Dev' Program, and the IMAGINE Richmond Program), Corporate policies, procedures and protocols, and other priority projects as determined by SMT or as directed by the Director of CPMG.
What is your story? How did you get to where you are now?
As a young boy, I had dreams, just like many other kids I knew, of one day playing in the NHL. I developed a drive geared to continuous improvement, to always get better and stronger in everything I do. Turns out, playing professional hockey is not an easy career path and not everyone, despite their best efforts will make it (though I certainly had fun along the way). My sport endeavors translated to a passion for health and wellness which led me to pursue studies in Kinesiology and Health Sciences at York University in Toronto, before moving to Vancouver in 2007.
As nothing in life is predictable, a change in my career path presented an opportunity to start working for the City of Richmond in 2011 as a seasonal labourer in the Sewerage & Drainage department. Though this may not have been my dream role, I viewed this as an excellent opportunity and stepping stone to start a new career. The City of Richmond demonstrates value in their people and provides a safe, stable and secure environment to learn and grow. Things always happen for a reason and I could not be any happier for such an opportunity to pursue a successful and rewarding career.
Learning from building and maintaining our sewer systems, to leading and supervising major capital infrastructure construction and upgrade projects, I used each and every day to build new skills, knowledge and to unleash my creativity and sense of innovation. As I grew and developed into a supervisor, I learned about leadership and accountability to my team and my job as it was a reflection of me and how everyone contributes to the success of the organization. The biggest challenge of my work was not performing physical work itself. It was leading my team to achieve our desired outcomes all while ensuring a healthy and safe environment for our people and the community we work in.
Through this experience and my demonstrated skills of leadership, communication, teamwork and pursuit of excellence, just as my CPMG colleagues were identified in their respective previous roles, I was recognized by my supervisors and senior management as an emerging leader to move into my current role as a Program Manager with the Corporate Programs Management Group. From here, the sky is the limit!
What parts of your work inspire you?
My career in municipal government has been challenging, rewarding and has given me a lot to be proud of. I am inspired by my position and the opportunity for new challenges, to grow my leadership skills and to continue advancing my career. I have learned that I will never stop learning. The City of Richmond is a values-based organization and emphasizes the importance of the people who work here while providing opportunity for professional, technical and personal development. I also appreciate that my contributions affect so many people I work with, and also helps shapes the city where I live.
What advice would you give your Grade 9 self?
The road will sometimes be challenging and rough, but life has a strange way of teaching lessons while getting you to where you need to be at the time you need to be there. Cherish your youth, have fun, stay curious, never stop learning and don’t be afraid to make mistakes for fear of failure. These failures provide experience and lessons to be even more successful in future challenges. You will occasionally “fall” but each time you pick yourself up and learn from it, you develop resilience and positivity as a priority in your life which will only translate into your work life, one of the most important skills required for today.
Any words of encouragement for today's Grade 9 students?
You have the world at your fingertips. Although you may feel like you know what you want to do, study or become, keep your doors open and don’t be afraid to try new things and accept new challenges. “Test all different waters before diving in” and don’t get discouraged when the path you thought you were supposed to follow happens to change. This is the best part!
Along the way, the journey through my career has provided some amazing twists and turns and I don’t foresee that trend stopping. Sometimes, you will need to make difficult decisions about your path; trust yourself to make the best decision and don’t look back in regret. Make the best of every opportunity. Build relationships and network!